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Encyclopedia > Blood Simple
Blood Simple
Directed by Joel Coen
Produced by Ethan Coen
Written by Joel Coen,
Ethan Coen
Starring John Getz,
Frances McDormand,
Dan Hedaya,
M. Emmet Walsh
Distributed by Foxton Entertainment,
River Road Productions
Released October 12, 1984
Running time 99 min.
Language English
Budget $1.5 million (est.)
IMDb profile


Blood Simple is a neo-noir film, the debut of Joel and Ethan Coen, writers and directors of Fargo, The Man Who Wasn't There, and Raising Arizona, among others. Barry Sonnenfeld, the film's cinematographer, is himself now a noted director. The film was originally released in 1984, and later re-released in 2001 in a "director's cut". Image File history File links Bloodsimple. ... Joel and Ethan Coen, commonly called The Coen Brothers in the film business, are United States directors best known for their quirky comedies like Fargo and Raising Arizona; the brothers write their own scripts and alternate top billing for the screenplay. ... Joel and Ethan Coen, commonly called The Coen Brothers in the film business, are United States directors best known for their quirky comedies like Fargo and Raising Arizona; the brothers write their own scripts and alternate top billing for the screenplay. ... Joel and Ethan Coen, commonly called The Coen Brothers in the film business, are United States directors best known for their quirky comedies like Fargo and Raising Arizona; the brothers write their own scripts and alternate top billing for the screenplay. ... Joel and Ethan Coen, commonly called The Coen Brothers in the film business, are United States directors best known for their quirky comedies like Fargo and Raising Arizona; the brothers write their own scripts and alternate top billing for the screenplay. ... McDormand in a promotional photo for The Man Who Wasnt There (2001) Frances McDormand (born June 23, 1957) is an Academy Award-winning American film, stage, and television actress. ... Dan Hedaya Dan Hedaya is a prolific character actor who was born on July 24, 1940, in Brooklyn, New York to a Sephardic Jewish family. ... M Emmet Walsh as the private detective in Blood Simple Michael Emmet Walsh (born March 22, 1935 in Ogdensburg, New York) is an American character actor who has appeared in over 100 film and television productions. ... October 12 is the 285th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (286th in leap years). ... 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Neo-noir is a term given to the modern trend of incorporating aspects of film noir into films of other genres. ... Joel and Ethan Coen at Cannes 2001 Joel and Ethan Coen, commonly called The Coen Brothers, are Jewish-American film directors best known for quirky comedies such as Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowski, as well as for darker film noir dramas such as Fargo and Blood Simple. ... Fargo is a 1996 dramatic and dark comedy film created by Joel and Ethan Coen. ... The Man Who Wasnt There is a 2001 Neo-noir film written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. ... Raising Arizona is a quirky, offbeat, and humorous 1987 Coen Brothers film starring Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter. ... Barry Sonnenfeld (born April 1, 1953) worked as cinematographer for the Coen Brothers, then later he directed and produced big budget films such as Men in Black. ... 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ...


The title was coined by Dashiell Hammett in his novel Red Harvest, where he used it to describe the addled, fearful mindset people are in after prolonged immersion in violent situations. Samuel Dashiell Hammett (May 27, 1894 – January 10, 1961) was an American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories. ... Red Harvest (1929) is a novel by Dashiell Hammett. ...

The story begins with Ray (John Getz) and Abby (Frances McDormand) driving down a Texas highway in pouring rain. Ray works at a bar owned by Abby's husband Julian Marty (Dan Hedaya). Though there were no previous relations between Ray and Abby, they spend the night together in a motel, not knowing that Marty had commissioned private detective (M. Emmet Walsh) to spy on them. Marty is informed and lets them know that he knows, and the detective gives Marty incriminating photos. McDormand in a promotional photo for The Man Who Wasnt There (2001) Frances McDormand (born June 23, 1957) is an Academy Award-winning American film, stage, and television actress. ... Official language(s) None. ... Dan Hedaya Dan Hedaya is a prolific character actor who was born on July 24, 1940, in Brooklyn, New York to a Sephardic Jewish family. ... Holiday Inn Great Sign Exterior of a Howard Johnsons motor lodge. ... M Emmet Walsh as the private detective in Blood Simple Michael Emmet Walsh (born March 22, 1935 in Ogdensburg, New York) is an American character actor who has appeared in over 100 film and television productions. ...


Despite Abby's protests, Ray confronts Marty about the incident, Marty fires him during the confrontation. Ray leaves quietly, but Marty threatens to shoot Ray if he returns to the bar.


Sometime later, Marty breaks into Ray's apartment, and after a struggle with Abby he forces her outside wher he is incapacitated by a knee to the groin and a broken finger. He leaves in his car as Ray comes outside buckling his pants. Ray hugs Abby, watching as Marty speeds down the street.


Marty becomes increasingly irritated with the couple's liaisons and hires the detective to kill them, then goes on a fishing trip. The private detective goes to Ray's apartment and breaks in while the two are asleep; he steals Abby's revolver from her purse and goes outside. The gun has three bullets in it. The detective delivers a large manila envelope to Marty, telling him that the bodies are taken care of. When the detective delivers the photo, he places his lighter on the desk, which then Marty covers with fish he caught while he was on a trip the private eye advised him to go on to create an alibi for Marty. The envelope contains a photo showing the two in bed together with several bullet holes apiece, leaking blood. Marty appears to be nauseated by the photo and excuses himself to the restroom with the photo. On the way back, he stops at his business safe, opens it, and removes $10,000 to pay the detective for the murders. He gives the detective the money and the manila envelope. The detective checks the money and shoots Marty--the only person who knew about hiring the detective for murder--and leaves Abby's revolver behind. However, he forget his lighter, still covered by the fish.


Ray arrives at the bar to insist that Marty pay him the wages he's owed--apparently the private detective has faked the photo he gave to Marty. Marty is sitting in a chair facing away from him; he doesn't respond to anything Ray says, and doesn't move when Ray steps on a gun, setting it off. Ray walks around the chair and sees that Marty is slumped forward, bleeding from the chest; he has a hole in his chest and a large pool of blood beneath the chair; blood is dripping down his hand onto the floor. Ray goes to retrieve Abby's gun from under a piece of furniture, and stands staring at it awhile: it is Abby's revolver. Ray is interrupted by Meurice, who arrives in the bar outside Marty's office. Ray runs to shut and lock the office door; Meurice calls for Marty, gets no response, and then tells a woman that it's ladies night--drinks are free--and puts The Four Tops' "Same Old Song," loudly, on the jukebox. Ray uses the noise from outside to mask his cleaning the office, and removes Marty's body, dropping Abby's gun into Marty's coat pocket. Ray then packs Marty in his car and drives off, but not before throwing the windbreaker and towel into the incinerator behind the bar. The Four Tops circa 1966. ... For other uses, see Jukebox (disambiguation) A jukebox is a partially automated music-playing device, usually a coin-operated machine, that can play specially selected songs from self-contained media. ...


Ray is driving down the highway when he hears a noise from behind: Marty is alive. He stops the car and jumps out, panicked, running over a field of dirt. On returning to the car, he sees that the back driver's side door is open and Marty is gone. He is crawling down the highway, muttering. At first Ray debates running him over with his car, but then follows him with a shovel, intending to kill him that way, but is interrupted by an oncoming semi-tractor. Ray considers throwing Marty into the path of the truck, but instead he picks up Marty and drags him back to the car, forcing him in as the semi passes. Ray digs a hole and throws Marty in. He is in process of burying him when Marty discovers Abby's gun in his jacket pocket. He pulls it out, trembling, points it at Ray, and pulls the trigger. It clicks; he pulls it again, and again; Ray removes the gun from him and continues to bury Marty alive.


In the morning, Ray is standing outside his car in the field, smoking. The car seems disinclined to start. Finally it does, and he drives off.


Meanwhile, at his apartment the private detective burns the series of photos he used to fake a murder, and discovers that Marty has replaced the incriminating faked photo with a sign admonishing employees to wash their hands before returning to work. After he burns the doctored photos, he goes to light his cigarette, but notices his prized lighter is gone, and believes somebody may have taken it, fogetting that it was under the fish from earlier.


At Abby's apartment, a deeply disturbed Ray tries to explain that he cleaned up Abby's mess. Abby does not understand what Ray is talking about, and they get into an argument. Ray thinks Abby is being coy for some reason he doesn't understand. The phone rings, interrupting their argument; Abby answers. The person doesn't say anything and Abby hangs up.

"Well, that was him."
"Who?"
"Marty."

Horrified, Ray leaves. Meanwhile, Meurice checks his answering machine and gets a message from Marty claiming that a large amount of money has been stolen from the safe and either he or Ray took it. Meurice goes to confront Ray. Abby goes to Marty's bar to try to find out what Ray is talking about--Ray had returned with blood on his shirt and she had assumed that he and Marty got into a fight. Abby finds the bar ransacked, the safe's combination lock dented, chipped, and partially shattered. The private detective had been trying to break into the safe and was interrupted by Abby's arrival: he is hiding in the bar watching Abby move about. She picks up a towel from the top of the safe; a hammer falls out. Abby spins the dial but does not open the safe. The fish that Marty brought back from his trip are still on the desk where Marty was killed; they are now green with rot, and the lighter is still underneath. An answering machine, also known as an answer machine (especially in UK and British commonwealth countries), ansafone (tradename [1]), ansaphone (tradename [2]), answerphone or telephone answering device (TAD), is a device for automatically answering telephone calls and recording messages left by callers when the party called is unable to answer...


At her apartment, Abby lies in bed; she gets up to wash her face and hears someone enter the apartment. She calls Ray's name, then pushes open the bathroom door. Marty is sitting on the bed. He tells he that he loves her, and then warns her; "He'll kill you too.", then pitches forward and vomits a torrent of blood. Abby wakes up. Ray is at his apartment packing. Abby thinks that Marty refused to pay Ray, that Ray broke into the bar to get his money, and that the two of them got into a fight and Marty was killed. Ray interrupts and tells her it was her gun at the bar, that he can't eat or sleep lately, and that Marty was alive when Ray buried him.


Abby leaves to tell Meurice that she thinks Marty is dead; Meurice leaves for the bar. Ray is at the bar; he opens the safe and finds the photo showing him and Abby in bed, bodies riddled with holes, blood staining the sheets. He leaves for Abby's apartment and notices a car parked behind him, the driver watching him in the same car that was following them at the beginning of the movie. Ray pulls out, and the private detective follows him. Abby arrives and turns on the lights; Ray is looking out a large window and tells Abby to turn off the light. Abby is reluctant to do so. The private detective is on top of a nearby building, watching the two through a sniper scope, and shoots Ray through the back. Abby runs to crouch beneath the window, takes off her shoes, and throws them at the light bulb, breaking it. The private detective arrives at Abby's apartment, and she goes to the bathroom to hide; outside the bathroom window is a precipitous drop. In Abby's sparsely furnished living room, the private detective bludgeons Ray with a large coin bank, then searches Ray's pockets for the lighter, thinking he took it. Failing to find it, he goes into the bathroom. Abby is not there; he looks outside the window, then reaches his arm over, finding a window to another room. He opens the window; Abby slams it on top of his wrist and drives a knife through his hand into the windowsill. The detective screams and shoots chiaroscuro holes through the wall, then punches through and removes the knife. Abby, dazed, backs out of the room and slides down the wall opposite the bathroom door, holding a gun. The door is partly closed; eventually the man's shadow darkens the doorway, and Abby fires through the door. The detective falls. "I'm not afraid of you, Marty," Abby says, and the detective laughs. "Well, ma'am, if I see him, I'll sure give him the message." The detective lies looking up at the underside of the bathroom sink. Water collects on its underside and drips down onto him. The light bulb is one of the most significant inventions in the history of the human race, illuminating the darkness of the evening and bringing light indoors at all times in order focus on the task at hand. ... Sacred Love versus Profane Love by Giovanni Baglione. ...


Analysis

Blood Simple opens with a monologue, where the detective explains life in Texas to the viewer. A monologue is a speech made by one person speaking his or her thoughts aloud or directly addressing a reader, audience or character. ... Official language(s) None. ...

"Now in Russia, they got it mapped out so that everyone pulls for everyone else — that's the theory, anyway. But what I know about is Texas. And down here, you're on your own."

This monologue sets the tone for the rest of the movie. Everyone must fend for him- or herself, and no one can ever escape their past.


The rural Texan setting has another effect on the film: in almost every scene, the temperature is uncomfortably hot. We see characters sweat, and we are repeatedly shown slow-spinning ceiling fans. The heat and dirt remind the audience how unpleasant the world of Texas can be.


One notable difference between Blood Simple and the Coen Brothers' later work is that Blood Simple does not contain much dialogue. Instead, suspense is built through silence, creepy music, and sound effects.


Director's cut

Blood Simple was re-released in 2001 in a "director's cut". Faux film historian "Mortimer Young" claims in an introduction to the re-release that the Coens have removed some of "the boring bits" and added other parts. What the Coens actually did was to tighten the editing using the footage in the original film: shortening some shots and removing others altogether, as well as changing some of the music in the film. One example of changed music from the original VHS release is the removal of Neil Diamond's "I'm a Believer" (made famous by The Monkees' cover) in favor of The Four Tops' "It's the Same Old Song." Essential Neil Diamond album cover. ... The Monkees in 1967 (left to right): Michael Nesmith, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork The Monkees were a four-man musical band created to be the stars of an American television series of the same name, which ran on NBC from 1966 to 1968. ... The Four Tops circa 1966. ... Its the Same Old Song is a 1965 hit single recorded by The Four Tops for the Motown label. ...


The "Mortimer Young" introduction to the 2001 re-release is included on the DVD, which also includes an audio commentary by "Kenneth Loring," the fictional artistic director of the equally fictional "Forever Young Films"; the director often has his facts scrambled. For instance, Loring claims that the scene with Ray and Abby driving in the rain talking about Marty was acted out in reverse as well as upside down, in order to synch the headlights passing the car just as certain lines were said. Loring claims that filming the scene backwards and upside down was the logical choice to get the timing right, and that the actors are wearing hair spray to keep their hair pointing "down." He does not explain why the rain on the windshield continues to run down on the final image, in defiance of gravity. Later in the commentary he claims that in scenes with both dialogue and music, the actors simply mouth the words and record them in post-production, so as not to interfere with the music; that Marty's dog is animatronic; that the sweat on various actors is "movie sweat," gathered from the flanks of Palomino horses; that Fred Astaire and Rosemary Clooney were at one time intended for the film; and that a fly buzzing about is not real, but the product of computer generated imagery. Towards the end of his commentary, Loring launches into a tirade against Merchant and Ivory Productions and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Kenneth Loring is voiced by actor Jim Piddock, using a script written by the Coen brothers. Gravity is a force of attraction that acts between bodies that have mass. ... Post production is the general term for the last stage of film production in which photographed scenes (also called footage) are put together into a complete film. ... This article is about the palomino horse coat color. ... Fred Astaire Fred Astaire (May 10, 1899 – June 22, 1987), born Frederick Austerlitz in Omaha, Nebraska, was an American film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer and actor. ... Rosemary Clooney on the cover of her 2000 collection 16 Biggest Hits Rosemary Clooney (May 23, 1928 – June 29, 2002) was an American popular singer and actress. ... The seawater creature in The Abyss marked CGIs acceptance in the visual effects industry. ... James Ivory (left) and Ismail Merchant (right) in New York City in 1974. ... Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (born May 7, 1927) is an Academy Award winning screenwriter, best known as the writer for Merchant Ivory films. ...


Template:Footer Movies Joel and Ethan Coen


External resources

  • You Know, For Kids! Blood Simple page
  • Coenesque: The Films of the Coen Brothers
  • Blood Simple at The Internet Movie Database
  • Blood Simple script

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EZ Detect Stool Blood Test is the most advanced product to detect blood in the stool, an early warning sign of colorectal cancer and other colorectal diseases.
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Blood then spills out of a person's mouth in what turns out to be a nightmare.
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